It’s all about the water. The alluring azure ocean, the idyllic infinity pools…the Maldivian experience is defined by intimacy with ubiquitous water. So it was especially apropos to be welcomed at OZEN Maadhoo by an expansive water feature which set this aesthetic tone right from our arrival.
This post has prompted me to add a tag for “Reception” to assemble all of the posts about great reception features that welcome guests.
Driftwood is alluring in its own right. The original tree shaped and coloured by months at sea. So Baglioni’s reception centerpiece – an expansive piece of driftwood is as captivating as it is apropos. The behemoth was washed up on the shores of the island with the 2004 Tsunami.
The tsunami had a transformative impact on the Maldives. Not just their geography and so the losses suffered in human life and property, but also in the very politics of the nation. So many resources were required for the reconstruction effort that the Maldives had to turn to global funders who put as a requirement for their aid and loans and number of radical reforms in the government and economy. Many resorts feature memorials to this dramatic part of their history several of this I’ve featured here, so I have added a “Tsunami” tag to assemble them all
While you’ve got a whole holiday of stretching out and lounging, too often reception area have pretty basic seating, I guess, to prepare you for the shock of sitting in a confined seat for hours on the plane. But SAii Lagoon has the biggest reception chairs we’ve ever gotten swallowed up in (photo above). It reminded me of the feature item in Copenhagen’s renowned Design Museum which itself jumbo sized (photo below with Lori as well). Great for bringing out the kid in you (or at least looking like it on Instagram…and it makes those holiday extra pounds look less prominent).
Even its distinctive floating furniture add to the dangling design vibe of the resort. Lots of resorts have swings, but Cocoon has them in places I’ve never seen before like the reception (see above, great for soothing the sadness of saying goodbye when waiting for your return transfer), and the bathroom (see below, not sure what this is great for…maybe to help get things moving??).
The fashion is all minimalist modern style in the Maldives as the moment. It does suit the diminutive and natural ambience of the islands natural beauty. But Sun Island’s old school rococo elegance of its reception evokes a bygone subcontinental era of Rajs and palatial splendour. Their sofas exude this opulence as do the other rich décor in their air conditioned lounge. When my wife and I arrived, it took us by surprise for its unconventional luxury and we thoroughly enjoyed this twist on sumptuous reception. It’s not classic Maldives, but it is classic.
Advent has arrived and with it the arrival of yuletide holiday greetings. Greetings are a big deal in the Maldives with each resort often providing their own little touches and twists. Sheraton Full Moon’s welcome centre is as grand and elaborate as many resort receptions (Full Moon also has a full reception further in the island). The facility comes with a air conditioned waiting area and other amenities.
As with other resorts, many of the staff come out to greet the guest both coming a leaving. A lovely gesture, but we were particularly impressed when about a haf dozen staff came out at 5:00 in the morning (we had an early seaplane to catch) simply to wave good-bye to us.
“I don’t even know half these people!”– 12 pains of Christmas, Twisted Christmas
As delightful as holiday greetings are to receive, sending them can be an exhausting tasks. If hours hunched over the kitchen table scrawling out notes can brings on sore shoulders and writers cramp, then the greeting you need is Anantara’s. After a traditional Thai greeting of a discrete bow with clasped hands, an Anantara spa therapist offers a 5 minute head and neck massage while you are sitting in reception and registering. Not only one of the best first impressions ever, but also smart marketing of free samples to promote the spa (it didn’t take my wife much thinking or delay to sign up for the full treatment at Anantara Spa).